Devonport is a charming village on the north shore of the harbour at Auckland in New Zealand. It was named after its counterpart near Plymouth in Devon because of its naval base. European settlers began arriving in Devonport in the 1840s and many of its delightful buildings date from the Victorian era.
One of the attractions of wandering the streets of Devonport is admiring the fine architectural details that adorn some of its buildings. Evidently constructed by people with time on their hands and money to spend, there are houses adorned with intricate mouldings, tracery and carvings that are a delight to see. Most houses are wooden, and there must have been many skilled carpenters and joiners working in Devonport at that time.
Verandahs feature heavily and provide yet more opportunities for decoration, with carved support poles, patterned panels and dainty lace-like frills of wooden lattice work at eaves level.
Looking at the delicate and imaginative work on some houses raises the question of whether there might have been an element of competition among some of these craftsmen, or perhaps the people who employed them, to see who could display the most elaborate fretwork on the façades of their properties. However it came about, these buildings are to be treasured as examples of fine craftsmanship.